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schadeaux

Teen arrested in Internet 'Blaster' attack

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cyber investigators on Friday arrested a teenager suspected of authoring a damaging virus-like infection unleashed weeks ago on the Internet, U.S. officials said.

The unidentified 18-year-old was expected to appear before a federal magistrate in St. Paul, Minnesota around noon and then be transferred to Seattle to face charges.

He is accused of writing a version of the damaging "Blaster" computer infection that spread quickly across the Internet, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Further details were expected to be disclosed Friday by the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Seattle, which has been leading the investigation.

A witness reportedly saw the teen testing the infection and called authorities, the official said.

Snarling traffic

Collectively, different versions of the virus-like worm, alternately called "LovSan" or "Blaster," snarled corporate networks worldwide, forcing Maryland's motor vehicle agency to close for one day. The infection inundated networks and frustrated home users.

Symantec Corp., a leading antivirus vendor, said the worm and its variants infected more than 500,000 computers worldwide. Experts consider it one of the worst outbreaks this year.

The "Blaster.B" version of the infection, which began spreading August 13, was remarkably similar to the original Blaster worm that first struck two days earlier; experts said the author made few changes, renaming the infecting-file from "msblast" to an anatomical reference.

Exploiting Microsoft flaw

All the Blaster virus variants took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft Corp.'s flagship Windows software. Government and industry experts had anticipated such an outbreak since July 16, when Microsoft acknowledged the software problem, which affects Windows technology used to share data files across computer networks.

The infection was quickly dubbed "LovSan" because of a love note left behind on vulnerable computers: "I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!" Researchers also discovered another message hidden inside the infection that appeared to taunt Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates: "billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!"

Infected computers were programmed to automatically launch an attack on a Web site operated by Microsoft, which the software maker easily blunted. The site, windowsupdate.com, is used to deliver repairing software patches to Microsoft customers to prevent against these types of infections.

CNN

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It just goes to show, if you write malicious viruses to mess up other people's systems, the authorities will catch up to you sooner or later.

He could very easily be facing a rather lengthy jail sentence.

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His name's Jeffrey Lee Parson in case you wanted to know

His new name is probably going to be something like 2674598/B, and I hope it will be for the foreseeable future. Making and 'distributing' computer virus' is, in my opinion, an appallingly malicious thing to do to people, the chaos they cause to home users usually being the thin end of the wedge.

It's vandalism of private property on a grand scale; there's no purpose behind it except the mayhem itself and all authors of computer virus' should be atached to old Commadore 64s and electocuted. I would wiggle the joystick myself.

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I know, I have an hard enough time when the PC sticks on safe mode, never mind about when I end up with a virus on it.

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Considering how much damage this particular code created, he could also have a potential career with the military.

Nah! Why hire someone to write code, or even buy a code when you can steal their code, study it, make improvements and use it yourself?

Still, it sounds like a good idea to me. Seriously. Yes, I know it might sound sick, but lets say you're government A, and want to shut down the network or perhaps the entire country of Government B.

Answer: Hire hackers that do this sort of thing for kicks.

Sure, as a citizen of Government A's country, sounds great to me, and no one has to die. Of course, as a citizen of Government B's country, I'ld be pretty hacked off (no pun intended)

Then again, our very own government was accused of reading the private e-mails of UN members.

If we are really doing that, wouldn't it be possible that we are doing the other thing as well?

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Considering how much damage this particular code created, he could also have a potential career with the military.

Nah! Why hire someone to write code, or even buy a code when you can steal their code, study it, make improvements and use it yourself?

Still, it sounds like a good idea to me. Seriously. Yes, I know it might sound sick, but lets say you're government A, and want to shut down the network or perhaps the entire country of Government B.

Answer: Hire hackers that do this sort of thing for kicks.

Sure, as a citizen of Government A's country, sounds great to me, and no one has to die. Of course, as a citizen of Government B's country, I'ld be pretty hacked off (no pun intended)

Then again, our very own government was accused of reading the private e-mails of UN members.

If we are really doing that, wouldn't it be possible that we are doing the other thing as well?

This is already happening....and big companies hire hackers too to improve security.

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Big time hackers who manage to get into Government web sites and such are potentially very useful both to businesses to help find flaws in their security, and to the military for the purpose of compromising the networks of an enemy in times of war.

Someone who could potentially down an enemy military network on demand or obtain vital tactical information would be considered very valuable, regardless of what they may have done in the past. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the most prolific hackers are now working for top ant-virus firms or for the military.

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There are a lot of negative things to such an virus outbreak, but it does show us how vulnarable our whole system is.. Without the internet is our economy in deep trouble.

I hope that "Billy Gates" learns something and developes software that isn't so vulnarable to Virus' and worms.

Odin S.

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I wouldn't be surprised if some of the most prolific hackers are now working for top ant-virus firms or for the military.

On a related topic to support this idea is a man in Las Vegas. A very successful slot machine bandit, Tommy Glenn Charmichael, is currently employed by slot machine manufacturers to make their machines cheat proof.

He is also up for inclusion in Las Vegas' "Black Book" of undesireable employees.

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